Friday, May 13, 2011

On Marriage

As I am getting married in less than four months, it should not surprise anyone to hear that I have been thinking about marriage and weddings quite a bit lately.  Most of this thinking has been related to planning.  What will our save the dates look like? Who will cater our wedding? How will we pay for everything?  What kind of top hat will I wear? Generally speaking, when I am not working, sleeping or performing improv, I am doing something related to wedding planning.

But, every now and again I also start to think about some of the larger marriage related questions.  Specifically, I think about these two:

1.  Why am I getting married?

2.  Why am I getting married to Chelsea?

I mean, don't worry.  I am getting married to Chelsea.  I love her.  I've never been more sure of any decision I have ever made in my life than I am of my decision to get married to Chelsea. The question is, why do I feel that way? Well here goes.

Something you should know about me is that I think marriage is a little archaic.  Why do you get married to one person and spend your whole life with them? Well because your parents did.  And their parents.  And all of your aunts and uncles.  And your friends. And the President. And Will and Kate.  And...well everybody who isn't a priest or some sort of weirdo, or some sort of weirdo priest, right?

There is so much pressure from society to get married.  When Chelsea and I were dating, and we dated for seven-ish years, I spent 6 of those years dodging a constant barrage of "when are you getting marrieds?", and "you've been dating for so longs!", and other comments of that sort.  It was annoying, and after a few years it started to make me angry, and then it kind of made me sad. And why do people put this pressure on young couples? Because it's tradition.  Well you know what? Who cares about tradition? Traditions are great sometimes like Christmas, or the Opening Day of baseball season but some- like segregation, or burning witches are pretty dumb too.  Long term, committed, monogamous relationships are not for everyone.  If they were, then there would be less infidelity, and less divorce.  Even if you are the committed, monogamous type, is it really important that the government, or the church recognize your relationship? Does it fundamentally change your long term relationship when it's codified in someone's ledgers somewhere?  What's my point here? I don't think marriage is for everyone.  It may not even be for most people. 

But it is for us.  Why am I getting married? Why am I standing up in front of God (or gods or the flying spaghetti monster depending on your persuasion) and my family and the government and saying "I do"? Well, despite the fact that my Vulcan logic can see all of the flaws in traditional marriage, I am not a creature who makes decisions solely based on logic.  Shocking, I know.  I want to get married because it feels right.  It may not change a lick about my relationship to have some institution or deity recognize our love, but in my heart (the emotional, metaphorical heart, not the blood filled bag in my chest) it is important to me that this all be made official.  Oh sure, there are some logical reasons to get married, tax benefits and other legal rigamarole, but the main reasons I want to get married are spiritual.  We already think of ourselves as a unit, a duo, a family.  Now, we will make the world outside of ourselves recognize that as well.

Also, it's always nice to have a party.  Especially a Steampunk party on an island with all of your family and best friends in attendance.

Onto question 2.  Why Chelsea?

Chelsea Cheyenne Ives is the happiest accident that has ever befallen me in my entire life.  Without going into too much detail, we never would have gotten together if it wasn't for the help of a man by the name of Samuel Adams.

I love her.  But why?  Very early into our relationship, I realized that we are made of the same basic stuff.  We come from very different backgrounds, but we view the world in the same way.  We want the same things out of life.  Some of that commonality is superficial.  It's great that we both love Lord of the Rings and Firefly, but it's more important we want the same things out of our relationship, and believe the same things about humanity.  We are two halves of a whole.

Also, remember this scene from the 2009 "Star Trek" film?

Every time I look at Chelsea, I want to do better. I want to make her life better.  I want to work harder.  The existence of Chelsea Ives is a cosmic dare to me to be a better person tomorrow than I was yesterday.

I want to marry Chelsea because she makes me a better person.  She makes my life better. And I will spend the entirety of our marriage doing the best I can to repay her for that by trying to give her the best life that I can.

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